Wednesday, October 29, 2014
I love to read, and when Alfie and I decided to have kids, I knew that reading would play a big part in our family's life. We began reading to our kids when they were very young, before they even knew what they were looking at. We got them into the habit of sitting and listening and looking. It took longer for the boys to get into it, but we kept trying, and once we found the kinds of books they loved (any book with pictures of wheels!), they fell in love and never looked back.
We read to them every day. Bedtime stories with daddy was a nightly ritual that lasted long after all three of them learned how to read independently.
I'm thrilled that all three of my kids love to read -- some more than others, but all three of them know the joy of getting lost (literally lost... they will read while walking to school!) in a good book.
But reading is so much more than just enjoying a good story. Did you know that literacy is the single, strongest predictor of adult health? today's information-based world increasingly requires not just a high school diploma, but also some type of post-secondary education -- a 2 or 4-year degree, apprentice training, etc... Good reading skills are crucial to getting an education that will help individuals succeed in life.
The road to success begins long before a student enters college, or even high school. A child's reading level by the end of third grade is a strong predictor of how they are likely to do in the future. Struggling readers in third grade are unlikely to ever catch up, and they are at high risk for dropping out of high school.
It's clear that early literacy is key. Thirty percent of children enter kindergarten without the pre-reading skills necessary to succeed in school, so That's why Nemours Children's Health System, a leading, has launched Reading BrightStart!, a national effort aimed at improving early literacy. The website offers parents and caregivers evidence-based tools to help their children from birth to age 5 develop the language skills necessary to read. Parents can go to the website for book recommendations, at-home activity suggestions, informational articles, and milestone assessments for every age and stage. All parents want to help their kids, but some parents may not know where to start. Reading BrightStart gives them that starting point. At a recent blogger webinar, Dr. Laura Bailet, Operations VP of Nemours BrightStart, reported that on average, children who have received BrightStart! instruction have shown gains of 114% in their reading readiness skills!
Disclosure: I received a gift card and gift bag as a thank you for posting. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.